London street food: Mintel predicts 4 global cuisines to watch

June 12, 2019
3 min read

Anyone who has ever visited London knows that it’s a true street food paradise, with an impressive selection of markets and food halls that allow locals and tourists to travel around the world in 80… steps. Street food markets are making world cuisines more accessible and affordable for UK consumers. As a result, the rise of more “adventurous” cuisines is forcing mainstream operators to innovate with menus and retail formats in order to offer more varied choice.

After attending inKERBator Weekender, an event organised by street food operator KERB showcasing 25 new traders as part of its three-month incubator programme, Senior Foodservice Analyst Trish Caddy identifies four cuisines to watch in 2019 and beyond.

Uzbekistan Express

Uzbek cuisine remains relatively unexplored in the UK. As it becomes easier for Britons to travel to Uzbekistan (from 1 February 2019, British citizens can enter Uzbekistan without a visa), the country’s cuisine may well be a hot area of growth. Traditional Uzbek cuisine tends to be rice and noodle-based, which means that even if the flavours are new to British foodies, the format is familiar. Oshpaz, opened by a former Uzbek refugee, brings the national dish ‘plov’ (also known as pilaf) to the streets of London.

© Photography by Jake Davis (

Multicultural Mauritius

Mauritian’s cuisine takes its inspiration from the Indian, Chinese and European migrant cultures that arrived during the 19th century. Lovely Bunch of Coconuts’ flavours are skewed towards Indian-inspired dishes, judging by its use of familiar Indian spices such as turmeric and mustard seeds in the biryani dishes. Meanwhile, Mauritius’ culture of barbecues on the beach lends itself well when it comes to introducing new Mauritian flavours to British summer barbecues.

© Photography by Jake Davis

African jollof

According to Mintel research on ethnic cuisines, fewer than one in 10 UK consumers have eaten Moroccan/African food recently, highlighting an opportunity to entice experience-seeking foodies. While not yet readily available, concepts like Cally Munchy are emerging: an African-inspired mix-and-match rice box stall that blends flavours from African cultures, particularly from West African regions. It uses jollof rice and a selection of garnishes, including plantain, as a base for its toppings. Its current choice of toppings includes chicken, beef or cauliflower, each marinated with different regional spices and seasonings.

© Photography by Jake Davis

Mexico – more than tacos

Mexican is the third most popular ethnic cuisine in the UK, behind Chinese and Indian, and tied with Southeast Asian. Now, foodies with a taste for Mexican are demanding more than just fajitas and tacos. Mexikings is enabling more Britons to “eat Aztec”. With naturally gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients, this pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine food culture includes proteins such as smoked lamb barbacoa, jackfruit adobo and chipotle chicken, served on a bed of rice.

© Photography by Jake Davis
Trish Caddy
Trish Caddy

Trish Caddy is a Senior Foodservice Analyst, writing reports about the UK’s eating out market. She previously worked as a restaurant cook in London.

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